The Spongebob Movie review: Spongebob and gang save Bikini Bottom Avengers-style
Did you ever think the day would come when Sergio Leone, god of the Spaghetti Western, and Spongebob Squarepants would appear in the same sentence? Well, it has. The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is one of those films that will make kids giggle and adults wonder whether there was something dubious in the popcorn because Paul Tibitt's film is bizarre, trippy and completely nonsensical. It's a kiddie movie that's also a non-stoner stoner film, because you'll be stone cold sober and yet giggling compulsively at the silliness that abounds in it.
A diabolical pirate named Burger Beard (Antonio Banderas) steals the formula for Krabby Patties, the snack made by Spongebob Squarepants in the underwater town of Bikini Bottom. Deprived of Krabby Patties, Bikini Bottom turns apocalyptic and its residents go bonkers, which is where Tibitt's gleefully throws in references to Stanley Kubrick, Mad Max and Sergio Leone for those so inclined. For everyone else, it's time for sea creatures in black leather and being menacing in such a silly way that with The Spongebob Movie may just have ruined the forthcoming Mad Max movie for some of us.
It turns out that Burger Beard actually has a rather honourable mission: he'd like to retire from piracy and run a food truck. With the Krabby Patty formula in hand, he proceeds to do just that and so, it's off with the hat and on with the bandana. Et voila! The bearded pirate is now the bearded hipster chef, running a food truck. The recipe is as much of a hit above water as it was underwater, which is good news for Burger Beard. However, down in Bikini Bottom, there's chaos because without Krabby Patties, the bottom's fallen out of it.
To recover the secret formula and banish the apocalypse from Bikini Bottom, Spongebob and his friends take the reverse plunge and land up in our world, with a little help from a talking dolphin (you see what we mean about it being a non-stoner stoner film?). It's a rather drastic change and Bikini Bottom's residents don't feel quite as home when faced with humans, even when they're wearing bikini bottoms.
Things take a turn for the worse when the gang find Burger Beard. Not only is the pirate about 3000 times their miniature size, he's got a book that has the story of Bikini Bottom in it and he can rewrite the ending. Fortunately, Spongebob gets the last page and is able to add a postscript that involves Spongebob, Patrick, Squidward, Mr Krabs, Plankton and Sandy becoming ginormous and acquiring superpowers to avenge Bikini Bottom.
Mr Krab gets removable and retractable claws that are somewhat reminiscent of Iron Man. Spongebob can blow mighty bubbles. Sandy is a Godzilla-sized squirrel. Plankton is green as the Hulk and twice as massive (but with a tiny head). Patrick's superpower is to magnetically attract all ice cream cones — "Justice is best soft served," he informs us at one point — which sounds like the best power to have in summer. All of them have washboard abs and other muscled bits.
Oh and there are seagulls that like to sing.
It takes a lot to stretch a cartoon sketch into a feature film. The Spongebob Movie manages by throwing in a tsunami of film references and covering everything from time travel to recycling garbage in the plot that basically hurtles from ridiculous to silly to hilarious. This is the kind of film that you go into thinking you're doing the kid you're accompanying a favour; only to realise you might be having as much fun as the little ones.
Updated Date: May 09, 2015 10:34 AM